Lorraine Ridout, 57, above, left her house in Gabalfa, Cardiff to visit a friend at 7pm on January 31, 2016
A grandmother who went missing after leaving home to visit a friend has still not been seen three years on.
The family of Lorraine Ridout, who disappeared from Gabalfa, Cardiff in 2016 say they feel ‘tormented’ over her disappearance every day.
The 57-year-old had only gone to visit a friend in a nearby street but Lorraine never made her destination and her fate has remained unknown to her family.
Despite extensive searches in the area, which involved South Wales Police, National Crime Agency, British Transport Police National Police Air Service and horse and dog units, nothing has been found.
While life has continued for Lorraine’s family, the pain of not knowing what happened to her causes constant pain and heartache.
Lorraine’s daughter Christine, 36, said all she and the family could hope for is closure.
Lorraine’s daughters Christine and Sarah and her sister Katherine Jarman during a search three years ago. While life has continued for Lorraine’s family, the pain of not knowing what happened to her causes constant pain and heartache
She said: ‘It’s not normal to have someone in your family go missing and I think every time another year passes it feels worse. I hope one day she is found but we could end up having to live with this for the rest of our lives and left in limbo.
‘At this stage there has been no sightings, mum hasn’t accessed anything medical or financial, there’s no signs of life, but everyone wants to do the right thing by their loved ones as well.
‘The only way I can describe living with it is feeling tormented every day of your life because you are given all these scenarios about what could have happened to her and it’s just difficult.’
‘I don’t think it’s something you can ever get over. I find it difficult to sleep but I had to stop with my counsellors because I felt like I was going backwards. I have learnt to cope with it and to get on with things.
The family of Lorraine Ridout, who disappeared from Gabalfa, Cardiff in 2016 say they feel ‘tormented’ over her disappearance every day. She is pictured above in a police handout
‘If we found her, we would still be grieving but we’d be grieving in the right way and that would be a starting point in going forward and accepting it.’
While the police investigation remains open, it appears that all that can be done at present has been done.
She said: ‘They have said they have done everything they can do so I have to accept that but when they were involved they were back and forth and it was too much. I only want them to contact me if they have found new information about Mum.
‘They [searched] the house which was horrific for us and that was the last time they had anything to do with us. I told them I didn’t want any more to do with them. They made our lives so much worse top of our suffering. That was horrendous.
‘There’s no support and actually nothing going on and it hasn’t been since 2017. They’re just waiting for something to come to them.’
Neighbours, friends and family all helped in the 2016 search, above, by taking posters to local shops. The 57-year-old had only gone to visit a friend in a nearby street but Lorraine never made her destination and her fate has remained unknown to her family
Describing her mother, Christine said she was one of the loveliest people you could hope to meet.
She said: ‘She was lovely, she was very nice to everyone and she wasn’t bad to anyone, she loved to help people. She liked to go and have a coffee with her friends and she made everyone laugh. She was very humorous and I don’t think she realised how funny she was.
‘She was a fantastic mother, wife, nan and a really good friend. This is the saddest part about the whole thing that the person gets lost.
‘My fondest memories are probably of going out for family meals, having a laugh around the table. She had an infectious laugh and she used to make us laugh to tears, it was great. She used to do the things all mums would like being there for you in your hardest moments, we have lost that.
‘I urge anyone can think back to that time and has information, however small or trivial it is, to come forward so we can have peace.’
A spokesperson for South Wales Police said the force still believe the answers are somewhere within north Cardiff and would urge anyone who has any information to make contact.
They added that Lorraine’s family have a dedicated point of contact within the South Wales Police Specialist Investigation Team should they have any questions or concerns.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark O’Shea, of South Wales Police, said: ‘While Lorraine’s disappearance remains unexplained, the case will never close and South Wales will always act upon any significant new information.
‘We respect the family’s wishes only to have contact from us if and when there is positive news and share their hope that one day they will have answers to what has happened to Lorraine.’
Anybody else with information who has yet to come forward is asked to please contact South Wales Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference *036372.
Despite extensive searches in the area, which involved South Wales Police, National Crime Agency, British Transport Police National Police Air Service and horse and dog units, nothing has been found [File photo]